The shapes of a working day

Not everyone works nine to five. Here’s a data vis revealing what kinds of jobs work when.

Hi, this is Elliot, a developer at Datawrapper. We just launched a new chart type, and I’m excited to show it off in my latest Weekly Chart.

One of my favorite sources for data vis is the American Time Use Survey, which asks people in the U.S. for an hour-by-hour breakdown of what they did yesterday. It provides fascinating datasets that shed light on aspects of everyday life in the U.S., such as loneliness or life under lockdown.

Today, let’s take a look at what times of day people tend to be working, in a few different types of job.

Since this is the first Weekly Chart to use our brand-new small multiple line charts, I figured I could highlight a few useful features.

  • I’m using annotations to point out interesting trends in the data and to label the 9–5 work day.
  • I’m repeating a line in each panel — the average working hours over all occupations — to provide an easy comparison with the main lines.
  • I’ve added an area fill beneath the main lines too, so that their shape is easier to see.
  • configured the horizontal axis to display ticks in every panel, but show numbers only in the first column.

I hope this inspires you to try making your own multiple line charts. We worked hard to include a bunch of options while still making it easy and intuitive to get started. My pro tip: Try switching between multiple line charts and regular line charts to get a sense of what best suits your dataset.

That’s all for this week! For more multiple line chart inspiration, check out the latest Data Vis Dispatch, which has a bumper selection of small multiples.